How does a vertical lathe work?

¿Cómo funciona un torno vertical?

The vertical lathe is a machine especially suitable for machining medium and large parts. This type of lathe has an axis in a vertical position, hence its name, and a rotating plate that is mounted on a horizontal plane. This structure will be the one that allows the most comfortable machining for large, heavy and voluminous parts in any industrial sector.

Current vertical lathes can machine parts with a diameter ranging between 1 and 20 meters . This will allow it to be one of the most used machines in different current industrial sectors. But, in addition to this flexibility, they offer very precise and efficient metal removal.

The operation of a vertical lathe

The vertical lathe is a machining machine that is responsible for removing metal chips. Its operation is relatively simple thanks to the CNC (computer numerical control) . The operator indicates a series of orders and instructions on the control panel to carry out the work. The only thing the machine will have to do is execute those previous orders on the part once it starts.

A vertical lathe can perform up to 3 different movements:

  • Main movement , by which the material is removed from the piece.
  • Forward movement , the one followed by the tool to execute the work.
  • Penetration movement to position the piece.

The spindle axis of a vertical lathe is perpendicular to the ground. This is one of the reasons why the pieces worked on this lathe are kept in a vertical position . This position will mean that the machine does not have to exert as much clamping force on the piece, since it is standing.

In addition, this position of the piece makes it possible to apply a greater cutting force . This eliminates many more metal chips, reduces working times and achieves greater productivity . An operation, therefore, that is more productive when compared to that of horizontal lathes.

Uses and applications of these lathes

Vertical lathes have multiple uses and applications. They are used, above all, for the machining of large and heavy parts . Generally, these parts must be transported and anchored in the lathe using overhead cranes. The structure in which the piece is arranged is ideal for machining.

The vertical lathe can also machine fragile parts . In fact, not having to exert much pressure to hold the piece means that these pieces can be handled more safely.

In this sense, vertical lathes are used in very diverse industrial sectors . They can carry out machining work for the manufacture of tires, turbines, railway wheels, propellers, fuselage components and other large parts . Sectors such as aerospace, automotive, railway, bearings, gears or petroleum use the vertical lathe in an essential way. They are also used in applications for hydroelectric and naval parts, large electric motors, tunnel boring machines, etc.

Without going any further, it is a machine with which you can cut, turn, mill, grind and do different complex jobs.

Main advantages of the vertical lathe

The main advantage of vertical lathes is that they can machine larger and heavier parts . Unlike the horizontal lathe, they have an ideal structure for working with the most voluminous pieces. Even without the need to exert great force in fixing the piece, since it is placed vertically.

This will allow you not to have to use a lot of energy when cutting and removing metal chips. Thus, in addition to obtaining greater precision and accuracy, more notable productivity will be achieved with significant energy cost savings.

Likewise, since it is a CNC lathe , the risks of error are minimal . The operator will give instructions to the lathe through the control panel so that it can execute the design and turning of the piece. This will be the only involvement of the worker, who will not have to manipulate the piece in the process, also gaining greater job security .

It should also be noted that modern vertical lathes include a waste management system to collect metal that is removed from the piece. In this way, the work environment will always be much cleaner . The versatility and flexibility offered by a vertical lathe are two more than interesting advantages for any company. Whether it is medium or large pieces, it is the most suitable type of lathe for carrying out a large number of machining jobs . Hence it is one of the most common machines in countless sectors. The production capacity is ideal to meet the demands and demands of the global market.